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Blog Posts by Subject: Germanic Literature

October 2014 Reader's Den: "Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist" by Erich Kästner, Part 1

This month we’re taking a trip to Weimar Germany via Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist by Erich Kästner, translated from the German by Cyrus Brooks. This novel, originally published in Germany in 1931 under the title Fabian, follows Jakob Fabian, a well educated but underemployed youngish man, as he moves through a decaying Berlin after the economic crash of 1929.Read More ›

Stefan Zweig's New Life

Stefan Zweig is experiencing a major comeback in the English-speaking world. The works of fiction of this Austrian Jewish writer (1881-1942) are being reissued in new translations, including his novels such as Beware of Pity and The Post-Office Girl; and director Wes Anderson says that his delightful new film, Grand Budapest Hotel, was "inspired" by Zweig's writings. And now a new biography, by George Prochnik, is appearing: The Impossible Exile: Stefan Zweig at the End of the World. Read More ›

A Cold Night's Death: The Allure of Scandinavian Crime Fiction

Winter Fun for Kids and Cats

This snowy Saturday afternoon has brought to mind a couple of scenes from nineteenth-century children's books in the Rare Book Division. First, a scene of "Wintervergnügen" (winter fun) from Jugendspiele zur Erholung und Erheiterung (Tilsit, 1846). This is a two-volume work, one devoted to girls and one to boys. Sledding is categorized as one of the boys' games (Knabenspiele), but of course that needn't stop 

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"Say What?" Look at What the Library Has in Your Language

In the "melting pot" of New York City, people from all over the world come to visit The New York Public Library. Luckily, New Yorkers can get information in languages from all around the world. Check out these databases, available from home.

Here’s how to access NYPL’s databases: 1. Go to www.nypl.org 2. Click on ‘Find Books, DVDs, & More’ 3. Click on ‘Articles and Databases’ 4. Databases are listed in alphabetical order. If you are not accessing the 

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April in the Reader's Den: Rainer Maria Rilke

Once upon a time, when I was a backpacking young Bohemian visiting Prague, I had a roomate who introduced me to the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. Having toted the books with him across continents for quiet contemplation, I wondered, what was it about Rilke's words that inspired such steadfast devotion?

Born in Prague in 1875 in what was then the Austro-Hungarian empire,

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A Passion for Real Books

More and more, I find my library colleagues coming to me and singing the praises of their e-book readers. From pockets, briefcases, or knapsacks they draw a tiny glowing gadget---as nifty as Captain Kirk’s phaser--and proceed to demonstrate its multiple virtues. A whole book can be downloaded in seconds. You can carry an entire library in a tiny, plastic box. With a book on your iPhone, you can use one finger to slide from screen to screen, never having to turn an actual page again. These exchanges with my colleagues inevitably remind me of that scene in the original

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